Remember the first time you got the urge to play your air guitar?
That’s body language — a genuine outer expression of an inner impression.
And it comes from the heart and soul based on authentic feelings.
Guitarists in particular and music fans in general note that playing the air guitar first took root in America in 1969 when authentic feelings flowed on stage at Woodstock.
At least that’s how Smithsonian magazine’s April White captures the vibrations and rhythm of the first air guitar performance on a public stage.
“Joe Cocker could feel the music channeling through his body as he began his final number on the Woodstock stage.
“With one hand the singer mimed the song’s opening piano notes, and then as the drums kicked in, Cocker lifted his left arm and swung his right in front of his body in perfect time with the dramatic first chords of his hit:
With a Little Help From My Friends. There in front of hundreds of thousands Joe Cocker was playing the air guitar.”
Authentic gestures — like Joe Cocker ‘s impressive and expressive 51-second air-guitar playing — project a sense of integrity and sincerity.
Authenticity like that earns trust and credibility from an even more engaged audience.
And authenticity like that stirs greater memorability and mobility from an even more motivated audience to act on your message.
Indeed your body speaks long before you do.
To help you develop even more authentic body language in general and presentation skills in particular, consider purchasing a copy of SPEAKING Like a Leader, a 298-page book now available on Amazon.com.
SPEAKING Like a Leader is part of the Leadership Mints Series that also includes a book on creativity —THINKING Like a Leader , a 284-page book filled with 77 Leadership Mints and a 300-page book on empathy filled with 77 more Leadership Mints-LOVING Like a Leader.
All three books in The Leadership Mints Series are designed for busy leaders seeking to refresh their feeling for leading in 5-minutes or less — the average reading of a Leadership Mint.
What ‘s a Leadership Mint?
Consumed like a breath mint — quick and on-the-go — a Leadership Mint is a short story that energizes leadership behaviors and personalizes leadership principles so they are more easily remembered, more readily acted upon and more fully applied.
SPEAKING Like a Leader,With Civility & Featuring 52 More Leadership Mints by Peter Jeff, is now available on Amazon.com, $15 paperback, $8 digital.
The title page of the 298-page book states emphatically: “This book is R Rated: R for Respect. How leaders gain, retain, and sustain respect from distracted audiences in general and disengaged employees in particular. And in the process how speaker/leaders earn greater credibility for themselves and increased buy-in for their message. With civility.”
In addition to a speech writing template and 12 ways to spice up the memorability of your podium performance, the book is filled with examples on earning credibility rooted in civility from audiences who are aggrieved and adversarial.
There are specific bonus chapters on reprimanding an employee, on cooling off an irate customer, on contending with an aggressive news media, on overcoming apathetic meeting participants and on dueling effectively with a skeptical job interviewer.
SPEAKING Like a Leader is also the only public speaking book on the market that features a 18-page section on how to SEASON your sense of humor to foster greater civility for your presentation style and greater credibility for gaining understanding and acceptance of your message.
As the third book in The Leadership Mints Series, SPEAKING Like a Leader builds on leading with empathy in LOVING Like a Leader published in 2017 and on clarity in decision-making in THINKING Like a Leader, published in 2016.
Like the other books in The Leadership Mints Series, SPEAKING Like a Leader offers a grab ‘n go, dip-in-anywhere 5-minute reading experience that refreshes a leader’s feeling for leading with Leadership Mints — short stories that personify optimum leadership behavior. And like the candy mint, these Leadership Mints are easily spooned, quickly digested and immediately invigorating.
Here’s an idea to organize your next speech. Reading time: 2:06
Set your speechwriting compass and lead your audience down a well-lit, easy-to-find and follow path of understanding, acceptance and action with the 6 W’s in organizing a speech for optimum impact.
Reach out and let the audience know you are just like them. Show them you care about them And they will care about you. Show them your ideas will be meaningful to them because your thinking is in tune with their thinking.
Tell the audience what this speech is all about. Billboard the essence of your message in 10 words or less.
Write a headline that embodies the theme of your message, sets the tone and foreshadows the conclusion. Use this headline to anchor your point of view and specifically establish where you are coming from and where you are heading.
Develop this headline as a guideline the audience can follow to better understand, assimilate and act on your message.
Tell the audience how important this message is to them. Get the audience as excited as you are about how your speech is going to make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Here’s an idea to help you deal more effectively with the media. Reading time: 2:56
The newly appointed vice president got caught with his foot in his mouth during a media interview. All the TV cameras and radio microphones were gone. Only one reporter in the room was left. He closed his notebook and began to exit.
But just then the reporter pulled a Lieutenant Columbo tactic – “just one more thing he said.” And the vice president took the bait and subsequently hung himself out to dry.
The press can be tough. Wielding microphones like guns and firing off questions in a barrage, reporters can behave much like detectives. At least that’s the way the then four year old daughter of golf legend Arnold Palmer saw it when her dad was besieged with a mob of reporters. The littler girl wondered to her mother: “Why does daddy have all those detectives asking him questions?”
Every CEO can relate to that onslaught. Sometimes the spotlight that comes with a leadership role can seemingly blind a newly-minted CEO and even burn a frustrated CEO out of a job. Continue reading “Taming the Media Tigers”→
Here’s an idea to help better endure stage fright. Reading time: 4:05
For the first time in your career you will be making a company-wide presentation to the largest audience you have ever faced. Sure, you’re nervous. Maybe even a little scared.
You know your material. You spent more than a month researching, writing and rehearsing. Yet now –two hours from show time —the butterflies in your stomach are tearing you apart. (WTF!)
Your heart’s thumping. Your lips are quivering. Your voice is quavering. Your head is swirling. Your knees are knocking. Your palms are sweating. Your face is reddening. Your throat is choking. And your eyes are tearing.
Whoa there Mealy Mouth! Take a breath. And take comfort: You’re not alone.
In fact, stage fright inflicts the best of leaders but it doesn’t get the best of any leader, especially those leaders as prepared as you.
And you can take some solace knowing that even the most pioneering and courageous leaders suffer from those butterflies. Even if they can perform admirably out of this world. In outer space.
Astronaut Gus Grissom for example struggled with stage fright at the podium. “Asking Gus to just say a few words was like handing him a knife and asking to a main vein,” writes Tom Wolfe in his book The Right Stuff.